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Yawin Smallwood entering NFL draft...

POSTED December 08, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

EAST HARTFORD: He told his teammates moments after they had won their third game in a row that he would be leaving them to pursue his lifelong dream.

Yawin Smallwood told his UConn Huskie ‘brothers’ that he had decided to forego his senior year and was going to enter the NFL draft after a junior season that had him on almost everyone’s radar.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” Smallwood said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was seven years old. I’m just happy and excited that I got a chance to come play at the University of Connecticut. I feel like I’m ready to play at the next level.”

Smallwood had been thinking about it during the week and came to his decision on Friday night.

“I was thinking about it a lot and decided while I was in the hotel room last night,” Smallwood said. “I put a lot of work in and it paid off.”

As usual, the hard working linebacker was a force in the middle with seven tackles and two sacks against the Tigers.

His numbers for his career at UConn speak for themselves.

In three seasons, Smallwood registered 332 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

His 59-yard interception return for a touchdown against Temple ignited this run for the Huskies.

He was named to the All-Big East team in his sophomore year and count on the awards to flow this year as well.

Another Huskie heads off to ply his trade at the next level.

“I have to get to work, it’s a job now,” Smallwood said. “I have to work hard to be the best football player I can be.”

With the work ethic he displayed in his time at Storrs and beyond, count on Smallwood to live up to the standard he set for himself a long time ago.

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